Having Low Testosterone Could Be a Sign of Type 2 Diabetes in Men, Study Shows

A recent study has revealed an interesting relationship between testosterone levels and type 2 diabetes status in men. For those without diabetes, this research could present another red flag to help predict the disease. And for those who already have diabetes, it’s a discovery of something to watch out for and seek treatment for if necessary.

The study involved 300 male individuals with type 2 diabetes who visited a clinic at Shri Maharaja Hari Singh (SMHS) hospital, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, India. In each of the participants, researchers measured their blood sugar and hemoglobin A1c, as well as serum testosterone levels. They also collected blood samples from patients who did not have diabetes.

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Out of the 300 diabetic subjects, 42 percent had low testosterone levels. Testosterone levels were determined to be significantly lower in the diabetes group than in the control group.

Additionally, among the type 2 diabetes patients, those who had a testosterone deficiency had higher mean fasting plasma glucose and glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels. A significant negative correlation was seen between fasting plasma glucose and HbA1c levels and serum testosterone levels.

The researchers believe that, in males, type 2 diabetes can cause a testosterone deficiency. In clinical practice, this means that doctors should see a testosterone deficiency in their patients as a potential sign of type 2 diabetes and should subsequently test for it.

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“This study shows that diabetes causes low testosterone levels among males, and lower testosterone levels can act as a marker for diabetes,” the researchers wrote. “Thus, with timely intervention, mortality and comorbidity associated with diabetes can be prevented.”

For males who have already been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, low testosterone is yet another complication to be aware of and talk to your doctor about if you notice a decrease in your libido, fatigue, loss of muscle mass, or other symptoms of low testosterone. In most situations, when diabetes is caught early and well-controlled, comorbidities like this one can be prevented or very successfully treated.

If you believe you have low testosterone and/or diabetes, talk to your doctor about getting tested and about the treatment options available to you.

This study was published in Archives of Endocrinology and Metabolism.

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